It comes as no surprise that aquamarine is known as the gemstone of the sea. Derived from the Latin words ‘aqua’ and ‘mare’, aquamarine signifies the joining of water and sea. Aquamarine is the birthstone for those born in March and is also the gem associated with 19-year wedding anniversaries.

Here’s the lowdown on the stunning aquamarine gemstone.

 

What Is an Aquamarine?

Formed from the mineral species of ‘beryl’, aquamarines are semi-precious gems of the beryl family that are renowned for being both durable and pure. With a strong clarity and less natural inclusions than other gemstone varieties, aquamarine’s composition of beryl, when combined with other minerals, creates a classic baby blue colour – which is the colour most commonly associated with the gemstone. Rarer aquamarine stones can also be found in pink and greenish hues.

The colour of aquamarines can range from sea-foam green, to teal, to blue-green. However, with aquamarines, the darker the hue, the more expensive the stone. Deeper blue gemstones are more expensive, and this is therefore proven with the aquamarine. It’s also noted that the best aquamarine stones contain some slightly green hues that are intertwined with a base, deep blue colour.

Aquamarines are most commonly found in Brazil, Africa, Asia and in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains – where it is the state of Colorado’s gemstone. It usually occurs in granite pegmatites, and it commonly associated with quartz, muscovite and topaz.

A fun fact about aquamarines is that some of the world’s most renowned aquamarines currently belong to the reigning Queen of England. At her coronation in 1953, she was gifted an aquamarine necklace with matching earrings by the president of Brazil. After she received it, she had a matching bracelet, tiara and brooch made as she loved the pieces so much.

 

The History of Aquamarine Stones

There are numerous myths and legends about the aquamarine gemstone. The Romans believed the stone absorbs the feeling of young love, whereas the Greeks knew the aquamarine as a sailor’s gem, ensuring a safe and prosperous passage when travelling in rough seas. Conversely, in Medieval times, the aquamarine stone was thought to awaken romance between married couples, and the Egyptians and Hebrews saw the aquamarine as a symbol of everlasting youth.

Jewellery and protective amulets using aquamarine stones have been dated back as far as 500 BC, but the largest gem-quality aquamarine ever recorded was found in Brazil in 1910, weighing over 110 kilograms. Additionally, the largest faceted aquamarine in the world, the Dom Pedro Aquamarine, is currently on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

How Did Aquamarines Become the Birthstone for March?

The idea of a calendar year of gemstones is thought to be an ancient one, with scholars tracing it back to the Breastplate of Aaron as described in the Bible’s book of Exodus. The Breastplate was a special garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the tribes of Israel at the time. Based on this model, the modern birthstone list was created and has remained unchanged since 1912. It was defined by the National Association of Jewellers from the United States and was designed to similarly align with the zodiac signs and the birth-months of those within each sign.

Many of those who have March birthdays also have the zodiac sign of Pisces, which shares properties with the aquamarine stone in terms of water or the sea.

 

Other Types of Beryl Stones

As the mineral beryl contains many varieties, the aquamarine stone effectively has five ‘brothers and sisters’. Each type is recognised because of its distinctive colour, and include aquamarine, bixbite, goshenite, emerald, heliodor and morganite.

Bixbite is extremely rare and receives a bright red colour from its beryl component. In contrast, emerald is beryl’s green and most precious variety, goshenite is colourless beryl, heliodor covers a variety of earth tones of beryl, and morganite is also known as ‘pink beryl’.

 

What Jewellery Pieces Do Aquamarines Go Best With?

Aquamarine stones have a number of favourable attributes for jewellery, namely due to their durability and availability. Rated 7.8 on the Mohs hardness scale, aquamarine is soft enough to accommodate a range of gemstone cutting shapes, styles and techniques. With regards to jewellery, aquamarine stones first rose to popularity in the 1940s when there was a large availability of the gem. Since then, jewellers all over the world have set aquamarine stones in rings, necklaces and earrings.

Aquamarines were regarding the ‘ring trend’ of 2019, particularly in a halo-setting style. By surrounding the aquamarine gemstone in a ring of white diamonds, the gemstone is highlighted and has the chance to make a real statement. And while the classic diamond engagement ring will remain a timeless and classic option, there has certainly been a rise in more non-traditional rings featuring a variety of gemstones and quirky settings.

As far as setting and metal are concerned, rose gold is a great pairing with aquamarine. It can also be paired effectively with traditional gold and silver and suits a number of settings due to its high clarity and minimal invasion from veins or other shades and hues.

Although aquamarine is a very durable gemstone, you will still need to take care to ensure its maintenance. To care for your aquamarine jewellery, soak it in warm soapy water and buff the metal gently with a soft cloth to dry. Aquamarine jewellery can also withstand light exposure, but it’s best to avoid exposing them to extreme heat.

Whether it’s an aquamarine necklace, pendant, earring, bracelet or engagement ring, look no further than the expert team at Perth’s Allgem Jewellers. Conveniently located in Hay Street Mall in the CBD, Allgem’s wide range of gemstone jewellery pieces, including a range of aquamarine pieces, is sure to suit all design preferences. Contact our professional master jewellers or visit our showroom to take a look at our wide range of luxurious gemstone jewellery.

The word ‘amethyst’ has a Greek origin and refers to ‘sobriety’ – guiding its owner into a serious mindset. The amethyst stone not only has a rich historical background but is also a stunning piece of jewellery tied to the month of February in the birthstone calendar year.

Here’s a few key facts you’ll need to know before purchasing an amethyst or a piece of jewellery with an amethyst within it.

 

What Is an Amethyst?

Amethysts are members of the quartz family and are traditionally considered one of the most valuable gemstones among diamonds, rubies, emeralds and a few choice others. In terms of value, amethyst collectors search for depth of colour – including the possibility of red flashes if they are cut conventionally.

Value for amethysts depends almost entirely on colour. The ideal colour of an amethyst is called ‘Deep Siberian’ and is extremely rare, but there are also green quartz varieties that are called green amethysts. Light-coloured amethysts are enjoying a resurgence in popularity as of late, with the pinkish, lighter shades titled ‘Rose de France’.

Deposits of amethyst can still be found in the vicinities of Greece, Italy, North Africa, Brazil and the Middle East, and the origin of rich purple amethysts can be traced back to royalty, who wore them as a symbol of heightened status. Today, as is the case with other gemstone varieties, amethyst can be easily produced in laboratories.

 

The History of Amethyst Stones

In Greek mythology, amethyst was rock crystal dyed purple by the tears of Dionysus, the god of wine and merriment. As such, ancient Romans and Greeks used to wear the amethyst stone while making drinking vessels, as they believed the stone could prevent intoxication. Throughout the ages, amethysts have also been used as a symbol of royalty – with some even decorating the British Crown Jewels. The amethyst was also a personal favourite gem of Queen Catherine the Great of Russia.

Amethyst also holds religious connotations. During the Middle Ages, the amethyst stone represented piety and celibacy, was used to adorn crosses, and was also worn by members of the Catholic clergy during church services. It was also considered one of the Cardinal gems in the Old World, in that it was one of the five gemstones that was considered precious above all other gemstones – that is, until large deposits were located in Brazil.

 

How Did Amethysts Become the Birthstone for February?

Aaron, also known as ‘Aaron the Priest’, was the brother of Moses. Aaron wore a special garment which had a crystal breast plate – for which Moses provided specific instructions regarding its design. There were twelve gemstones on the breastplate, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel. Despite some initial controversy, at the formation of the traditional calendar year, these twelve stones are today viewed as the definitive chart of astrological birthstones.

It is said that the amethyst is the stone of Saint Valentine, who was believed to wear an amethyst engraved with the figure of his assistant, Cupid, within it. This is believed to be a reason for the amethyst’s placement as February’s birthstone, as Valentine’s Day is traditionally celebrated in the month of February.

 

Types of Amethyst Stones

Amethyst stones appear in a variety of shapes and shades – ranging from light purple tints to gems that are nearly black. The most well-known types of amethyst are purple, pink, mossy, ametrine, cape and prasiolite.

Pink stones are considered the least valuable as they feature an extremely light and indistinct lavender hue. Mossy stones, on the other hand, can appear in both light and dark hues and have veins that are visible throughout the bead.

Cape amethyst stones feature hints of milky white quartz, whereas ametrine is one of the rarest gemstones and contains a mixture of yellow and purple hues in the single crystal – a feat that rarely occurs in nature.

Lastly, prasiolite quartz features a yellow-green hue with slight tinges of purple throughout.

 

What Jewellery Pieces Do Amethysts Go Best With?

The amethyst gem is durable enough for use in a variety of jewellery pieces, such as rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and other types of jewellery. Plus, as there are enormous deposits of amethyst across the world, there is enough material to keep the gem’s price point low enough that most people can afford to purchase jewellery that contains it.

Amethyst jewellery has been consistently popular over time – particularly due to its elegant, sophisticated look. Generally, set in 925 sterling silver, gold or rose gold, there are plenty of options when it comes to purchasing amethyst jewellery.

Amethyst pendant jewellery is a great way to display the depth and complexity of the amethyst stone. Craftsmanship is key when it comes to amethyst pendants, so it pays to be picky when making your pendant selection to ensure you find the perfect cut, length and general display.

Amethyst bracelets are another popular jewellery type that perfectly display the gemstone’s beauty. As no two amethyst crystals are the same, an amethyst bracelet is an incredibly unique way to display the beauty accessible in unevenness.

Studs, drop earrings, and threader earrings are the most popular types of amethyst jewellery settings for earrings. And lastly, when it comes to rings, an amethyst is extremely effective alone as a statement stud. If searching for the perfect amethyst ring, don’t be afraid to go simple and let the amethyst stone shine through as the hero of the piece.

 

Whether it’s an amethyst necklace, pendant, earring, bracelet or engagement ring, look no further than the expert team at Perth’s Allgem Jewellers. Conveniently located in Hay Street Mall in the CBD, Allgem’s wide range of gemstone jewellery pieces, including a range of amethyst pieces, is sure to suit all design preferences. Contact our professional master jewellers or visit our showroom to take a look at our wide range of luxurious gemstone jewellery.

Derived from the 14th century Middle English word “Gernet”, meaning “dark red”, garnets are one of the most plentiful gemstones on the market. There are few types of gems that offer such a broad range of size, lustre and colour as a garnet, explaining why this mainstream gem has exploded in popularity over recent years.

Here’s everything you need to know about the birthstone of January, the garnet.

 

What Is A Garnet?

A garnet is a species of gemstone, comprised of a group of mineral species that virtually always occur in blends. As a result, the garnet family is one of the most complex of all of the world’s gems.

Garnets can be found as individual crystals or pebbles, and are most commonly found with reddish shades, but can appear in almost any colour. Therefore, although red is the most traditional colour of a garnet, some of the highest-value garnets are in shades of green or orange.

Garnets are the birthstones for those born in January, and also serve as the stone that celebrates the 2nd anniversary of marriage. Garnets are also believed to be one of the oldest birthstones and have been used and circulated for thousands of years.

 

The History of Garnets

As well as the above Middle English translation, the word ‘garnet’ is derived from the Latin word “Garanatus”, meaning “seedlike”, in reference to a pomegranate. Garnets were first used as a sacred stone by the Mayans, Aztecs and Native American Indians, and was also used for protection for travellers who were away from home.

During history, many women wore garnets because of the gem’s ancient connections with the feminine life force. They were extremely popular in Europe during both the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as in Victorian times. The garnet was also praised for its protective and curative powers and was said to be used for its perceived medicinal purposes as well as for its striking colour and appearance.

Today, garnets are worn not only ornamentally in jewellery pieces, but are also used in industrial markets, making up items from watch gears to sandpaper.

How Did Garnets Become the Birthstone for January?

Experts believe that the origin of monthly birthstones can be traced back as far as the Bible. In Exodus 28, Moses creates directions for making garments for Aaron, High Priest of the Hebrews. One such direction was that his breastplate should contain twelve precious gemstones, indicating Israel’s twelve tribes. These stones were later linked to the twelve signs of the zodiac, and eventually, to the twelve months of the calendar year.

Some call garnets the ‘gem of faith’, as legend suggests that those who wear garnets can bring peace, prosperity and good health to those they encounter. Therefore, this is the perfect gemstone for those with a January birthday who want to begin the New Year with a profound sense of peace, happiness and goodwill. The zodiac sign for the garnet gemstone is Aquarius, which also ties in well with the shared trait of creativity between the stone and those with this zodiac sign.

 

Types of Garnets

 

Almandine

Almandine is the most widely used garnet type on the market and has a scarlet colour with brownish overtones. As such, this type is tied to the Earth, and is a stone of physical love and relationships, as well as psychic protection.

 

Andradite

The Andradite garnet displays the elemental, Earth-like colours of green, olive, dark yellow and black. This stone is representative of safety, strength and self-empowerment. It is intended to dissolve negative feelings of isolation and can attract intimate encounters with others.

 

Grossular

Commonly green but occasionally brown, the Grossular gem variety is intended to evoke hope, empowerment and nurture from Mother Nature. It is also a stone of prosperity, gratitude and service to others that is generally associated with the Heart Chakra.

 

Pyrope

A Pyrope is one of the most well-known types of garnets and is often described as ‘living fire’. Its colour ranges from rosy red to deep crimson, and is a stone of inspiration, vitality and charisma. It is often free of flaws and has an exquisite transparency.

 

Spessartine

Termed ‘the garnet of the sun’, a Spessartine’s shade ranges from yellow to an orange-ish red. This type of garnet is one of the rarer varieties and is reflective of creative energies.

 

Tsavorite

The Tsavorite is a fairly new garnet variety and is a powerful green colour. First discovered in the 1970s, this variety is believed to increase wealth and bestow affluence when worn.

 

What Pieces Do Garnets Go Best With?

As far as jewellery goes, garnets are excellent for toned down, minimalist styles. Stud or delicate, dangle earrings are therefore great to hold the garnet gemstone. In the same vein, garnet pendants or light bracelets are a great way to add a subtle touch of colour.

There are some varieties of garnet, however, that suit statement jewellery pieces more. For example, a garnet cocktail or statement ring is a great statement piece, as is a garnet necklace.

Garnet engagement rings are also popular, but the stone is quite fragile and can be easily damaged or scratched. If you aren’t deterred by this, garnet engagement rings are most commonly paired with silver-coloured metals, but also looks striking with gold.

It’s important to remember to clean your garnet jewellery frequently with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Rinse the stone well after washing it, and never steam clean the piece to keep it protected for longer.

Whether it’s a garnet necklace, pendant, earring, bracelet or engagement ring, look no further than the expert team at Perth’s Allgem Jewellers. Conveniently located in Hay Street Mall in the CBD, Allgem’s wide range of gemstone jewellery pieces, including a range of garnet-specific items, is sure to suit all design preferences. Contact our professional master jewellers or visit our showroom to take a look at our wide range of luxurious gemstone jewellery.

Fancy a striking jewellery piece? Consider adding some coloured gemstone jewellery to your collection.

Throughout history, coloured gemstones have enthralled people for their beauty, rarity and opulence. A gemstone can be defined as a piece of mineral crystal which, when cut and polished, can be used to make a piece of jewellery or another adornment.There is an impossibly wide variety of coloured gemstones to choose from for jewellery pieces – and luckily for you, Allgem Jewellers are well equipped with a lot of them. Read on for more information about three of the most precious gemstones for jewellery: rubies, emeralds and sapphires.

 

Ruby

Rubies are one of the world’s most precious gemstones. First mentioned in the Bible, the ruby is the July birthstone and is known for its rarity, lustre, hardness and high monetary value. In fact, the only gem that is harder than a ruby is a diamond.

Similar to other gemstones (such as emeralds), almost all rubies contain some type of imperfection or flaw. These inclusions are generally to be expected, but if or when these imperfections impact the stone’s brilliance or transparency, the value of the ruby may decrease.

 

Emerald

Characterised for its pale to rich green hues, emeralds are the most valuable gemstones that come from the mineral. Emeralds are extremely durable due to their hardness, and also feature a number of intriguing inclusions and flaws that are used to assure the purchaser of a natural stone.

Emeralds also boast a special cut designed just for this gem, titled the ‘emerald-cut’. This cut features a rectangular or square shape that maximises the beauty and colour of the stone whilst also protecting it from exterior strain or internal stress.

 

Sapphire

Famed for its stunning royal blue hues, the sapphire is the most precious and valuable blue gemstone. Desirable due to its hardness, durability, lustre and excellent colour, the sapphire is the birthstone of September and is suitably used in all types of jewellery – notably in engagement rings.

Sapphires can occur at many points on the spectrum – from transparent to opaque. Though transparent variations exhibit the most attractive lustre, the gemstone can also be adopted to various shapes and cutting styles, making for an easily customisable gemstone to work and design with.

Coloured gemstones are extremely popular, and make for stunning jewellery pieces. One cannot deny the unique, exquisite nature of coloured gemstones – and as such, the beauty these stones can bring to a variety of jewellery pieces. Adorn yourself with pieces that nature naturally created. Your chosen stones may reveal your rank, class and capacity, so be sure to choose wisely with the quality Allgem Jewellers. Contact our professional master jewellers today to see how we can best assist you.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – but it’s one pricey friendship. Good thing other gems are to the rescue.

Though diamonds are universally popular for all jewellery types, they are definitely not the only option to be considered. Some of the most stylish fashion figureheads of our time were dedicated gemstone lovers. Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana and a slew of others all utilised the unique beauty of gemstones in a variety of jewellery pieces. The value of natural gemstones is significantly increasing, so read below for a roundup of ways you can accessorise your favourite gemstone in a jewellery piece today.

 

An Alternative Engagement Ring

There is a whole world of gemstone engagement ring options just waiting to be explored – plus, they’ve welcomed more than a few celebrities as owners. Opting for a coloured gemstone is a refreshing take on the tradition and convention of an engagement ring – and it’s a guarantee that the wide variety of bright colours are certain to make your ring stand out from the pack.

Kate Middleton’s blue sapphire engagement ring is one of the most iconic engagement rings of all time. Passed down from Princess Diana, Middleton’s ring contains an 18-carat diamond and sapphire stone that was purchased by Prince Charles in 1981. Originally created by Garrard & Co (the former Crown Jeweller), the ring has skyrocketed in value and is now worth approximately 300,000 pounds.

 

Feel Like Royalty With Gemstone Earrings

Though Meghan Markle’s stunning bespoke engagement ring drew heads when the couple’s announcement occurred, it was her yellow gold and opal earrings that received a lot of attention all on their own. Another famous royal opal-wearer was Queen Elizabeth II herself, who was gifted a remarkable set of ‘Andamooka’ opal jewellery on her first official trip to Australia in 1954.

The opal is the national gemstone of Australia, and each opal features a completely unique array of iridescent colour – meaning that no two are of the same appearance. Opal earrings make not only a fantastic, unique gift, but also evoke a regal effect thanks to the Royal Family’s affinity for the gem.

 

Adorn Your Neck With Gemstones

Gemstone jewellery is typically in a multiplicity of designs and styles – making it the perfect centrepoint for a necklace. Eye-catching, light-reflecting and unique, gemstone necklaces are extremely popular and make for a fantastic gift for that special someone.

Princess Diana was known for her talent of restyling jewellery in a unique way, and as a result, she redesigned Queen Mary’s emerald choker as a bandeau for a dance during her 1985 Australian tour. Further displaying the flexibility of these stunning gemstone pieces, she wore her velvet sapphire choker with pride as a headband for dinner in Tokyo one evening.

Diamonds may be beautiful, strong and low wearing – but they are also expensive and predictably conventional. Gemstones come in a wide variety of colours, are trendy and popular, are durable and cost a lot less.

Allgem Jewellers is the first choice for Australian opals, precious gems and gold jewellery in Perth. Our services include individually handcrafted custom-made jewellery pieces, jewellery repairs, repolishing Australian opals, opal cutting, pearl threading and more. Contact our professional master jewellers today to see how we can best assist you.